COMMUNITY BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
By Zach Schrader
Tuesday, November 03, 2020 — PrepLIFE Meal Prep Grill’s co-founders Kevin Pascual and Keith Perez have worked hard and came a long way growing this business and giving back to their community over the past five years. When they first began operating they cooked all the meals out of Kevin’s father’s kitchen and delivered them to customers themselves. Five years later they were able to open prepLIFE’s first commercial restaurant location. With no prior business experience or schooling, they learned how to run a business on the job.
Kevin highlighted “perseverance, resilience, and sticking to the vision” as their keys to growing this business over the years. However, this process has not been without setbacks, and maybe none bigger than opening their doors right as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning.
A major part of prepLIFE’s strategy was the store being located in the same lot as a 24 Hour Fitness, and they had hoped gym goers would come grab a healthy meal after their workout. When the gym had closed due to the pandemic, a parking lot that was normally packed with the exact customer they had hoped to attract had become empty.
Though these were not the opening circumstances they had hoped for, they have focused on the positives and even have been able to make it work out in their favor in some ways. Kevin described this opening as a “long soft opening”, allowing them to figure everything out and get their team working together smoothly without it being too hectic. Keith added, “If we can be successful and thrive during a pandemic, when the economy fully comes back we will be more than okay.”
As natives to the Inland Empire, Kevin and Keith have been very active in giving back to the community through prepLIFE. Kevin attributed this to “How we were brought up… we were raised to always give back to the community and do our part.”
PrepLIFE has held an event on Thanksgiving every year since they’ve been in business called Thanks4Giving, where members of the community come to pick up free meals and distribute them out to those in need. In light of the pandemic, this year’s Thanks4Giving will be a drive through but everything else will be the same as previous years. PrepLIFE’s motto, “eat with purpose” highlights their commitment to give back to the community by providing healthy meals with the same convenience and affordable price as a typical fast food place. Keith said “I think this is something the community needs, and the entire country needs more of.”
Interview conducted by Zach Schrader, Contributing Reporter for the Inland Empire Business Journal.